Street Fighter V: Champion Edition Review
It’s been four years since Street Fighter V was first unleashed on to the fighting world. When Street Fighter V was first released, some fans felt it was a bit, lacking. However, Capcom kept at it and continued to improve the overall product, including releasing four seasons worth of content featuring new stages, characters and much, much more. However, if you were planning on jumping into Street Fighter V anytime over the past couple of years, you’d be forgiven if you thought the entry price was a bit too pricey. Fortunately, Capcom has seen fit to release the budget-priced Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, which includes the base game, all four seasons of content and a brand new playable character. The game is still exclusive to PC and PlayStation 4, which might be a disappointment to Xbox One and Switch fans – but a DualShock 4 controller really is the best way to play fighting games anyway. Is this four-year-old title worth picking up with all the added content? Let’s take a look.
One of the biggest complaints about the original release of Street Fighter V was the lack of any real story mode. This has been since fixed, and it’s definitely a truly deep experience. For the completely uninitiated, there’s the Arcade mode, which features a retelling of each previous core Street Fighter game. It’s not perfect since any character that didn’t make the Street Fighter V character cut aren’t included in their respective Street Fighter titles Arcade mode, such as Crimson Viper from Street Fighter IV. But completing each Street Fighter game in Arcade will give you a brief cutscene ending for every selectable character. The ending cutscenes aren’t animated, just static images – but it’s still something and you could probably spend many hours just discovering each character’s endings. The Street Fighter V Story mode approaches things a bit differently. Here you’ll be able to pick any of the 40 included characters and discover their role in the overall Street Fighter V story-arc. You’ll get an intro for each character, 2-3 fights, and then an ending. The endings again are static images, but there is voicework. I would have appreciated more effort in animating these endings – but considering how many endings are included, I can understand the reasoning behind keeping things simple. Note: Capcom also released a free DLC story pack called “A Shadow Falls” the features even more story content, so be sure to download this.
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is a 2D, side-scrolling style fighter where two combatants compete against each other. You’ll hit your opponent with various punches, kicks and special moves to deplete their health bar. The basic roots of this game haven’t changed much since the early days of the Street Fighter franchise, but that’s not to say the game hasn’t evolved. If you played Street Fighter IV, you’ll definitely be at home here, as the game takes a lot of what made SFIV great and polishes it up to make an even more refined fighter. There are two special meters that will grow, depending on your performance, and once filled, will allow you to unleash more powerful moves to help turn the tide of a battle. Pausing the game will give you access to the Command List which will teach you how to perform the various character moves. There’s also an extensive training area that teaches all the moves and combos – a perfect place for players to brush up on their skills. One thing that really disappointed me through the overall experience was the lengthy load times, both when you’re first booting up the game and before each match.
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition features an assortment of multiplayer modes. Probably the best multiplayer mode is the game’s local multiplayer. Unfortunately, the online multiplayer modes, Ranked and Casual, are a huge disappointment for three main reasons. The first issue comes from the lack of character select screen. You have to pick your “favourite” character in a completely separate menu, prior to entering a match. In previous games, and most fighting games for that matter, you’ll be greeted with a character select screen, but for some bizarre reason, this has been omitted. I assume this is to cut down on the time it takes to get into a match, but are those extra 10 seconds selecting a character really that big of a deal for players? The second issue is the lag. While Capcom did release a patch while I was reviewing this, which improved the lag slightly, it’s still there and often makes for a damn near unplayable experience. Finally, the third online multiplayer issue is the lack of effort made to pit you against opponents that have similar skill levels. My first online match was against some level 200+ player and I just got destroyed. In fact, most of my matches were against players substantially better than me, and it just got boring. Sure, in time I’ll improve – but when I’m constantly competing against superior players and brutal lag, it makes for a very disappointing experience.
Visual and Audio Masterpiece
Street Fighter games have always had a kick-ass soundtrack, and Street Fighter V is no different. A collection of brand new bangers and many classic, remixed Street Fighter tunes combine to keep the action flowing. All the characters are voiced, including the various game endings. The biggest issue with the voice work is the lack of syncing with their mouths – as the game was not originally voiced in English. It’s a shame because it really makes the game look like a poorly dubbed movie at times. Visually, the game follows the exaggerated look first introduced in Street Fighter IV’s 3D models. Chun-Li has massive legs that convey a strong sense of power, Balrog’s eye bulge out of his face, and Blanka looks like he could be a stand-in for Marvel’s The Hulk. The game also features a boatload of costumes to customize the 40 different fighters. Some of the costumes include awesome homages to classic Capcom franchises like Mega Man, Ghosts n’ Ghouls and Resident Evil. While you would have had to pay a stupid amount of money for them initially – they’re almost all included with the Champion Edition, so you’re set.
If you’re even the slightest fan of the Street Fighter franchise, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is an absolute no-brainer. There is just a ton of amazing content here. 40 characters, most of which are returning characters from previous Street Fighter games, over 30 different stages, tons of costumes and a story mode that offers many different endings. The game is by no means perfect. The online multiplayer has frequent issues with lag. There’s also no ability to select a character prior to a match, making for an unintuitive experience. Another issue I had was the fact that there is still some downloadable content that is stuck behind a paywall, such as four “Ring Of” stages and Capcom Pro Tour 2019 costumes – and considering this is a Capcom game, it’s safe to say more paid DLC will be on the way. If you’re looking for a solid 1v1 fighting game, you really can’t go wrong with Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, there truly is a ton of value here. Just be forewarned that the online experience is severely lacking.
***PS4 Review key provided by the publisher***
- Tons of characters, stages, and content
- Awesome visuals
- Amazing soundtrack
- Doesn’t include all the paid DLC
- Lengthy load times
- Laggy online experience
- No character select screen for online multiplayer